Hamed Abdalla (1917-1985) is an influential painter in Egyptian modernism. Self-taught, he had established himself as an artist by his early 20’s. Frustrated by the political climate of his native country, Abdalla left Egypt to continue his career in Copenhagen during the 1960s. Here he crossed paths with artists associated with the CoBrA movement before he moved to France. Linking the origins of his abstract paintings to Islamic traditions and calligraphy, Abdalla explored the concept of the “creative word” or “talisman,” the combination of a written word, a body shape and an abstract form, upon the canvas. In his work he reflected on the political change of the time, alongside his research into the visual ideas.